She pulled the two hems of her jacket together and tightened the cincture around her waist. The night was cool; her breath fumed rivulets of vaporous mist as she began her journey through the streets. Each puff curled along the prominent rise of her cheekbones and dissipated amongst the slight swish of her short bob of dark hair. She silently pushed into the crowd and slipped back into anonymity. Tokyo was her city and it came alive at night just like her.
Throughout the day the city simply slumbered. Its heart methodically pumped the grey business suits, like blood cells around its many arteries and veins, merely going through the motions to feed its towering cement metropolis. But at night, like a black cat awakening, it arched its back and shuddered into life. Suddenly, the bright lights, the colour, the vibrant atmosphere of modernity palimpsest upon an ancient culture, shook itself free of the asperities of the day. It became starkly beautiful, a sparkling, neon-rainbow gem amidst the darkness.
It was this clash of old meeting new, the duality co-existing in every building and on every street which resonated with her the most. It suited her, stitching together her ancient knowledge, her ancient code, into a fabric of modern thoughts and modern technology.
The building she had left began to creak, a hopeless sigh as its foundations slowly gave out. A few of the roof tiles loosened and skittered their way to earth, smashing into a thousand ceramic splinters. The crowd stalled its fluctuations amidst a collective intake of breath. She wove her way through the stillness and disappeared, as the side of the building began to slump. Inside, through the window, a person’s silhouette could be seen limping haphazardly as if disoriented. The building creaked again, turning the rendered brick to billows of sand. The shadowed figure in the window stood still, as if accepting their fate. They were breathing so deeply that even from a distance you could see their frame expand and contract. The crowd began to panic and flee as the wall below the roofline started to come away. And just as suddenly as it began, the whole thing folded in upon itself, vanishing in a heaving gust of dust and smoke.